[TUHS] Favorite UNIX

Michael Parson mparson at bl.org
Sun Oct 1 01:40:10 AEST 2017

On Thu, 28 Sep 2017, Kevin Bowling wrote:
> What is your favorite UNIX.  Three possible categories, choose one or more:
> 1) Free
> 2) Forced to use a commercial platform.  I guess that could include
> macOS and z/OS with some vivid imagination, maybe even NT.
> 3) Historical

Compared to many here, I'm barely a beginner, I'm in my 40s, got my
intorduction to Unix in the early 90s with SunOS 4.something while in

1) Free:
I was then introduced to Linux by a friend of mine, back in the
pre-Slackware days even, some 0.9x kernel.  The first kernel I compiled
myself was 0.96.

Like Larry said, Linux is mostly what I use as my desktop Linux.  It
works well enough on my Thinkpad.  I run NetBSD on my VPS for bl.org,
and I do prefer working in NetBSD, just that trying to get 'Desktop'
like work done on it is harder, as these days, it's all developed on
Linux and ported to others.

2) Commercial platform
In the 90s, it was SunOS 4, though I actually started to like working
in Solaris around 2.5.1.  It started to stabilize and the jobs I was
working at started buying hardware that would run it well.  (Solaris
2.4 on SS1 and SS2 was not fun).  I've not had a lot of experience with
other commercial offerings.  While I was with IBM, I was exposed to AIX
(of course), other jobs had HP/UX, and I even logged into an IRIX box
once, though that was in a DC across the country from me and was used as
a fileserver.

Since Oracle bought Sun, I've given up on Solaris, which really doesn't
leave many options for Commercial Unixy platforms.  I do use an iMac at
home and a MacBook Pro for work, but even there, I spend most of my time
in xterms spawned form XQuartz logged into remote Linux systems.

3) Historical
I like playing with historical systems.  I've recently started playing
with Amiga UNIX (Commodore's port of SysVr4 to 68030) under FS-UAE.
Maybe someday I'll get it running on the Amiga 3000 that is currently
gathering dust.  I also have a Mac Quardra 950 out in the garage that
some day I want to get A/UX running on.  Then there is the HP 9000
715/80 and the RISC NextSTEP media waiting for some round tuits.  I've
recently found instructions for installing SunOS 4.1.3 under qemu-sparc
that I want to try as well.

Michael Parson
Pflugerville, TX

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